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Andrew Forge

"Andrew Forge: The Limits of Sight,” at Betty Cuningham Gallery (through July 30): “Andrew Forge: The Limits of Sight” was originally curated by Karen Wilkin for the Fairfield University Art Museum in late 2020. Due to virus lockdown restrictions, the paintings never really saw the light of day, so we can be thankful to Betty Cuningham Gallery, which represents Forge’s estate, for putting on an abbreviation of the show this summer. Forge died in 2002, but his elusive abstractions, usually built up through an atmospheric accretion of innumerable small colored “dots,” have something important to say to us in a moment when the necessity of in-person interactions with art is being called into question by high-tech photographic illustration and those now-ubiquitous online “viewing rooms.” Cuningham has indeed set up a viewing room for this exhibition, but in it we find an insightful essay by Wilkin which demands that we also take the trip to Rivington Street: “Forge’s paintings must be seen, in actuality. No reproduction, whether conventional or digital, no matter how technologically advanced, can capture their essential and distinctive qualities. And they must be studied for extended periods.” Having spent an hour or so with the paintings last week, I can report that this is true. Look out for my full review of the show, forthcoming on "Dispatch."